For some people, cars are just a means to get from point A to point B. But for some, cars are a love affair. If you are one of them, you would go to any lengths to preserve your car in pristine condition as it was the first time you laid eyes on her in the showroom. To this end, it is very important to look after the car’s look, that is, the showroom shine.
A Peek Into The Paint Shop
As a part of the factory paint job, paint is applied in several layers:
- A primer acts as a bonding layer between the paint and the vehicle’s surface; it makes the paint stick to the surface.
- The next is the basecoat, which is the colour coat.
- A clear coat, which is a colourless coat, that gives the shine and protects the colour coat that is underneath.
Though these factory coats give a glossy look, constant exposure to dirt and dust can damage the paint over time. The surface can easily get scratches or swirls, which are minute scratch marks caused due to rubbing or improper washing techniques. Hence, a protective layer like ceramic coating is essential to protect the car’s shine.
The process of protecting the car shine need not be laborious as it used to be. In the past, one had to send off the car to the detailing workshop, once every few months, where professionals buff it up with wax. This was such a temporary solution to maintain the car shine. Since the introduction of ceramic coating, its popularity has exploded due to its ease of use and efficiency.
This article on ceramic coating maintenance will take you through everything from how to wash a ceramic coated car to why ceramic coating aftercare is essential to maintain your car’s showroom shine.
What Is Car Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer coat that is administered on the car’s paint; most of them are silicon dioxide-based. This clear coat—which is a 2-micron thick coating—is applied by hand to the surface; it acts as a protective hydrophobic layer that repels dirt, dust, antioxidants, and grime from the car’s paint. It also protects the car’s paint from corrosion, chemical stains, UV rays, and natural acids found in bird droppings and bug guts. Since the nanoparticles in the coating bind with the factory paint to create a permanent or semi-permanent bond, it does not wash away or break down, thereby reducing the need for repeated applications.
You can choose to ceramic coat your car at home or an auto-detailing shop. If you choose to do a DIY ceramic coating, research on the car care products available in the market and buy from established suppliers of ceramic coating products who sell premium nano-ceramic coatings.
How To Maintain Ceramic Coating?
The following sections will help you maintain your car’s ceramic coating effectively.
Once the ceramic coating is applied, the coating starts to harden after 48 hours; it takes a few weeks for the curing process to complete, or the coating to get hardened. Since the coating is soft during the curing period, is it advisable to keep the car away from dirt, debris, or any other contaminants.
Regular Maintenance Of Ceramic Coating
Though a ceramic coating lasts for a few years, routine maintenance of ceramic coating and aftercare can extend the life of the coat. The good news is that it is easy to clean because the ceramic coating is hydrophobic. In other words, grime and dirt can be effortlessly removed with a car wash or a good old wipe.
Have you seen a ceramic coated car after a wash? Water droplets bead on the surface making it a pretty sight. Though hydrophobic, ceramic coating retains water droplets that evaporate and create water spots. To avoid this, whenever your car gets wet, dry it off with a towel.
In case you are on the road, accidentally a lot of grass and dirt might accumulate on the car’s exterior; keep removing it as soon as you can. Park your car in a garage or in a place where tree debris does not fall on it. You have to remember that though the ceramic coating is super effective in maintaining gloss, it is not a substitute for protecting your car from serious scratches or dents.
How To Wash A Ceramic Coated Car?
Proper washing is very important in maintaining a ceramic coated car because improper washing techniques can create swirl marks on your car. Hence, it is important to familiarise yourself with how to wash a ceramic-coated car.
- Even if you protect your car with a cover, dust can still penetrate the cover. Wash your car every two weeks so that contaminants do not build excessively.
- Choose a good quality soap or car wash shampoo with a neutral pH.
- While washing, avoid direct sunlight hitting the car’s surface as the cleaning product or water will dry on the surface creating water spots.
- Use the two-bucket washing method, which basically means using two buckets: the first—filled with soapy water—for soaking the car wash mitt, and the second—the rinse bucket filled with clean water—to clean the dirt off the wash mitt. With this method, every time you wipe with the mitt, you don’t end up spreading the dirty water back on the car’s surface.
- By using grit guards in the buckets, you can prevent accidentally rubbing the grit on the car’s surface.
- It is best to wash the car from top to bottom in circular motions using the two-bucket wash method.
- Since tires and wheels are areas where dirt collects the most, use a separate mitt to wash them.
- As microfiber cloths are effective for gently cleaning surfaces, they can be used to clean small areas like the mirror and wheel arches.
After A Car Wash
Finally, rinse all the soap so that there are no water spots. Another way to reduce water spots staining the coating is to dry the car with a towel or blow-drying. It is advisable to follow such car wash routine once every one or two weeks for efficiently maintaining the ceramic coating. If you cannot wash the car at home, go for a touchless car wash as an automatic car wash may scratch the coating. After cleaning the car, you can use a cleaning spray or a maintenance spray for an extra layer of protection.
A ceramic coating preserves your vehicle’s exterior with minimal maintenance. However, without periodic maintenance of your car’s ceramic coating, constant exposure to dust, grime, and acid can damage the coating sooner than expected. Lack of ceramic coating maintenance may also result in loss of shine, increase the chances of mud and dust deposit on your car’s paint.